Project: Villa S2
Architects: MARC Architects
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Photographs by: Raphael Drent
Villa S2 by MARC Architects
The Villa S2 is a luxurious contemporary residence designed by MARC Architects in Amsterdam. It is a very spacious home and its high ceilings and glazed surfaces ensure that plenty of sunlight is let inside, giving the minimalist interior design beautiful lighting.
Villa S2 on IJburg island is a three-story high split-level villa with spacious design, high ceilings and great openness to the waterfront. The form of the villa had to be a very compact one. This is controlled by the relatively small plot so close to the water on one hand and client needs on the other. At the front side of the house a ramp goes right into a small parking which contains part of the basement. At the backside a dike separates the waterfront from the plot. The position of the villa close to this dike establishes the depth of the basement in a way that no structures were allowed to penetrate the slopes or dike form. This condition in itself makes it a Super Dutch design. The clients desire to have a guesthouse in the other part of the basement leads indisputably to the need for direct daylight coming into this space. Conceding the former requirements we designed the basement partly above ground level in combination with the lifted ground floor and its split level space. Most of the ground floor level is almost two feet above the garden. Some floors and spaces are lifted 4 feet. This design solution provides magnificent views over the surrounding waters and south European vegetation of the IJburg island.
To emphasize the inner space -or rather the clients personal identity- we literally folded the wall and floor structures around the spaces. All rooms have views over the water and green surroundings. To accomplish maximum physical and visual connection between the interior and exterior we didn´t use frames for the most important glass facades. This means we had to develop intelligent details where the glass meets the walls and floors lined with the white stone edging panels. We designed drains behind almost all panels along the floors to prevent pollution of the white edges by rainwater from the glass surfaces. Water is directly drained to ground level on several positions out of sight. On south and west elevations we integrated the electrical sunscreens behind the white edges. In that way we gave the white stone edging panels a double purpose. They provide strong architectural design by giving the villa it´s S-shaped section expression and in the meanwhile they´re supportive in a technical way on a smaller scale.
The most important spatial connection is the one where the kitchen is linked to the elevated terrace. While cooking behind the stove next to the fireplace, there is a feeling of being outside on the terrace. The dining and kitchen area have high ceilings up to 3.35m1. On this particular place the S-shaped design opens towards the terrace, gardens and waterfront by an enormous full height glass section at right angles. For this critically important window frames we used the unique Swiss designed and manufactured Sky-frame product which gave us the possibility to integrate all frames flush in walls, ceiling and floors. The only visible frame is the one between the fixed and sliding window with a width of less than one inch.
Both on the inside and outside we aimed to give the S2 villa a highly distinguished technical detailing and use of materials. We want this villa to be a modern and sustainable design in a way it is very energy saving and even almost a passive house (energy neutral). The use of large amounts of glass facades mustn’t interfere with these strong objectives.
Therefore we designed all windows and open facades as 3-layerd glass facades with the highest standards when it comes to insulation. Behind all white nature stone panels we even used insulation panels with excellent features as Kingspan Kooltherm K15 with a thermal resistance (Rc) from almost 6. The white nature stone panels consist out of composite materials with a 90 percent nature stone grit component combined with a 10 percent white binder. The color mix of the grit consists of white, off-white, light-green and a light-yellow pieces. The last refers to the grey-yellow colored reed along the waterfront.
We specifically choose this white material as gladding in order it would cost much less energy for cooling in summertime. We used this 22 millimeter width material not only along the floors and walls, but even in 6 square meters large panels and all small pieces for the jambs connecting with the glass. We polished all panels lightly so they won´t get polluted easily. The fact that the colorful grit gets more depth by reflecting the sunlight was a second reason to choose this type of finish. For the wooden façade elements we used the product Nobel Wood which gives the villa a warm and natural look. This is an alternative to tropical hardwood based on Dutch pine wood coming from sustainably managed forests according to FSC certification. The pine wood is a modified wood based on biopolymerization. The wood is biopolymers from sugar cane to the modified core. The result is a product with the appearance of high-quality hardwoods. Besides the limited environmental impact we considered the steady aging as an important aspect for choosing Nobel Wood within the application in the Villa S2. Because only error-free sapwood is used for the production of Nobel Wood, the material is homogeneous. As a result, there is a uniform aging of the material.
From the beginning of the design phase we already applied a well thought concept for installations in the design. We used the 38 centimeter thick sandwich floors for the ducts of the heat recovery system to re-use heated air with as little as possible loss of energy. We combined this system with floor heating and top cooling for extra comfort. On the roof we placed four large solar panels and almost all light is LED connected to dusk.